Gianna Driver: The Link Between Diversity, Inclusivity, and Performance

When we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, some leaders still roll their eyes or assume they have bigger fish to fry. But, happily, the trendline shows that companies that can move beyond diversity into true inclusivity experience sustained growth, higher performance, and more revenue. They are the ones harnessing more innovation, attracting top talent, getting more ideas and innovation from their people, and frankly, making smarter business decisions.

Today, I talk to Gianna Driver about how DEI efforts support organizational goals and the link between DEI efforts and bottom-line performance. She shares how a company can make the leap from a diverse culture to a truly inclusive one in order to better enjoy those benefits. Gianna shares the ground rules you need to set to make DEI work, and how to be empathetic to – yet manage executive resistance to change. And we talk about her personal story growing up Filipino-American and how it shaped her passion for empowering people.

Key Takeaways:

  • People are at the heart and center of everything you do. If you are trying to make a change in your organization, you need to remember that.
  • Healthy relationships have conflict. What matters is not the existence of conflict, but how individuals resolve conflict; the same is true of organizations.
  • We do not leave our humanity at the door when we come to work. Employees need to be treated as humans with respect and multiple facets of their lives. When employees thrive, they bring their best selves to work and have higher performance as a result.

“Conflict is necessary for high performance and innovation. What differentiates are those organizations who have found ways to create spaces where people can respectfully and healthfully disagree and come up with better solutions together.” —  Gianna Driver

About Gianna Driver, CHRO, Exabeam

Gianna Driver is Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Exabeam, a global cybersecurity leader that adds intelligence to every IT and security stack. As CHRO, Driver manages the strategy and processes related to building, investing in, and retaining top talent at Exabeam, enabling employees to do their best work. She is responsible for architecting the company’s talent strategy, driving corporate culture and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and leading the global human resources function. Prior to Exabeam, Driver was the Chief People Officer at BlueVine, a private fin-tech company based in Redwood City, CA. Driver has also led HR and People functions in high-growth technology, gaming, consumer, and SaaS organizations including Playstudios, Aristocrat, Actian Corporation, Talend, and Balsam Brands. She is passionate about building high-performance cultures, establishing operational excellence, and creating joy at work. Driver is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

References Mentioned

The Empathy Edge podcast: M.E. Hart: How to Have Honest Conversations at Work

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